Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube

More: InnerCityPro
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

After Horse Drug Fraudster Lisa Gianelli Guilty at Trial Now Skelton Wants Time Served

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Thread

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 14 -- In what was called a racehorse doping take-down, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York on the morning of March 9, 2020 announced more than a dozen arrests. 

Inner City Press went to cover the presentments in the SDNY Magistrates Courts and personally witnessed 11 of them, all given bail packages and released.

On July 26, 2023 Jason Servis got four years. Inner City Press was there, thread

In December, co-defendant Henry Agueta got time served: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil:Sentencing held on 12/18/2023 for Henry Argueta (16) Count 1s,2s,3s.  Spanish interpreter present. Defendant was sentenced to time served and 2 years supervised release."

On February 14, 2024, Judge Vyskocil docketed this about withheld exhibits: "ORDER as to Seth Fishman: The Clerk's Office received an inquiry from a member of the public who seeks access to exhibits the defense submitted to the Court, but did not file on ECF, in advance of the forfeiture hearing in this case. As the parties are aware, there is a presumptive right of public access to court documents. See United States v. Amodeo, 71 F.3d 1044, 104951 (2d Cir. 1995). Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, by February 21, 2024, the parties shall file a joint letter informing the Court of their positions on the release of the exhibits to members of the public.  (Signed by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on 2/14/2024)."

On May 9, 2024, co-defendant Marino got time served: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil:Sentencing held on 5/9/2024 for Christopher Marino (19) Count 1s. Karloff Commissiong appeared for the defendant. AUSA Sarah Mortazavi appeared for the government. Defendant was sentenced to time served and 2 years supervised release."

On May 14, 2024, co-defendant Gregory Skelton asked for a "non-jail sentence," with two pages entirely redacted.

Back on July 11, 2022, "SETH FISHMAN, DVM, received a sentence of 11 years in prison for his role at the helm of an approximately twenty-year scheme to manufacture, market, and sell to racehorse trainers and others in the racehorse industry “untestable” performance enhancing drugs for use in professional horseracing."

 Further back on April 8, 2022 a trial was set for the Seth Fishman co-defendant who got a mistrial when her lawyer came down with COVID: "in the light of new COVID protocols for the courthouse, the trial of Lisa Giannelli is going forward on April 27, 2022 in Courtroom 18C of 500 Pearl Street, New York."

  Inner City Press observed jury selection, and on April 18 Giannelli's lawyer cross examined the FBI agent who took the vials of drugs from her house in Delaware. He manipulated the vials in a plastic bag for the projector. Judge Vyskocil said, Don't break them. Later the FBI Agent read from the caution: only to be used with a licensed vet.

Giannelli was convicted. On March 6, 2023 as a forfeiture proceeding which Seth Fishman attended by phone, his lawyer told Judge Vyskocil that Giannelli had been told by the officers raiding her house she had to show them how to use a computer program or face more charged. She did - but later found a back-up behind a desk. She provided it to Fishman's lawyer.

 Judge Vyskocil asked if the AUSA has been provided all the reciprocal discovery to which the Government is entitled.

After the proceeding - Judge Vyskocil will rule in the future - the AUSA put in a chart including "Domestic Avimark sales records (that do not include Navarro) - $11,489,667.50." The AUSA calculates, for Counts One and Two, a total of just under $16 million... Inner City Press will stay on the case(s).

On December 12, 2022, co-defendant Erica Garcia got 10 months in prison: "FILED JUDGMENT IN A CRIMINAL CASE as to Erica Garcia (2), Count(s) 1, 1s are dismissed on the motion of the US; Pleaded guilty to Count(s) 1ss, 2ss, Imprisonment for a total term of 10 Months per count to run concurrently. Supervised release for a term of 1 Year. The court makes the following recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons: The Court recommends the defendant be housed in the Fort Lauderdale area to facilitate family visits. The defendant shall surrender for service of sentence at the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons before 2pm on 3/20/2023. Special Assessment of $50. Fine of $2,000 (Signed by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on 12/12/22)."

On November 21, 2022, co-defendant Michael Tannuzzo was up for sentencing. Inner City Press was there, thread.

On December 9, Jason Servis pled guilty, with maximum of 48 months: "JASON SERVIS pled guilty today for his role in the distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs intended for administration on racehorses he trained, in connection with the charges filed in United States v. Navarro et al., 20 Cr. 160 (MKV).  SERVIS pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil.  SERVIS will be sentenced by Judge Vyskocil on May 18, 2023."

OK- now at co defendant Michael Tannuzzo's horse drugging sentencing. Judge disagrees it was non-violent. Two sisters in gallery hug and sob.

Defense lawyer says, Horse racing is a dirty business.

Judge: I don't accept that.

Lawyer: I meant, Morally.

Judge: But we're here about the law. Criminality.

Defendant Michael Tannuzzo: I love the horses. They saved my life. I made a mistake, following. I'm sorry. [In gallery: his 2 sisters, his 2 best friends. Nephew too upset to come, he says.]

Judge: Guideline is 30 to 36 months. Mr. Tannuzzo, you picked up a package for Jorge Navarro. You put at risk horses and jockeys. I sentence you to 27 months in prison.

Back on April 29 with a non-prosecution agreement, there was the testimony of Courtney Adams, and her communications with Seth Fishman, including about a non-dislosure agreement. She left the business - why? I was done with it, and working at Nanny's Donut Shop.

On May 2, an FDA witness pushed back on cross examination on the idea that it is up to the states to decide what non-approved drugs may be given, citing 12 CFR 530. The trial continues.

On May 3, Adrienne Hall was on the stand describing herself injecting her horses, and getting a gift bag of bleeder paste from Seth Fishman in a parking lot.

On May 4, another former staffer of Seth Fishman, in charge of tightening up his bill collection, testified to injecting drugs into horses, cited one named Shady McCoy and other, in sounded like, Captain Serious, while defining gelding for the jurors: a castrated male.

On May 5 the Assistant US Attorney's closing argument reviewed the testimony of Courtney Adams and trainer Adrienne Hall, while portraying the defendant making cold calls to trainers pushing drugs.

On May 6, guilty verdict on Giannelli on one count of drug adulteration and misbranding, with intent to defraud and mislead, in connection with a nearly twenty-year scheme to create and distribute “untestable” performance enhancing drugs for use in professional horseracing. She  faces up to five years in prison for her conviction. Her sentencing was set for September 8 at 11 am.

And it happened at that day and time, and she got 42 months: "LISA GIANNELLI, received a sentence of 42 months in prison today for her role in an approximately 20-year scheme to sell and distribute to racehorse trainers and others in the racehorse industry “untestable” performance enhancing drugs (“PEDs”) for use in professional horseracing."

Back on July 7, a guilty plea: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil: Change of Plea Hearing as to Michael Tannuzzo held on 7/7/2022. Defendant waived indictment and plead guilty to a one count superseding information. Sentencing set for November 21st at 2pm." Watch this site.

Back on December 6, 2021 the US Attorney's Office told Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that Seth Fishman is still violation the law with 'bleeder" paste and energy drinks. A hearing has been set for December 20.

On August 2, Federal Defenders filed for defendant Alexander Chan a motion to suppress Title III wiretaps, writing that "When the FBI filed wiretap affidavits to intercept calls from Jason Servis and Kristian Rhein, they knowingly and intentionally misrepresented to the court that SGF-1000 and Clenbuterol were PEDs. They did so despite knowledge that SGF-1000 had been tested by a world reknown laboratory, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Lab and had been found not to be a PED." Watch this site.

On July 30, it emerged the lead defendant was set to plead guilty, see below.

On October 20, Christopher Oakes pleaded guilty. Inner City Press covered it. Judge Vyskocil asked if he trained and drugged thoroughbred or standard horses (standards), and if it was at Yonkers (it was). The AUSA described a covert search of the barn associated with the defendant. Judge Vyskocil accepted the plea and set sentencing for February 17 at 10 am.

On September 29: "ORDER as to Jordan Fishman. Change of Plea Hearing for Jordan Fishman is scheduled for 10/6/2021 at 4:30pm before Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil."

And Inner City Press covered and live tweeted it here

 This originally-19 defendant case is US v. Navarro et al., 20-cr-160 (Viskocil).

 But what of Amr Abdelaziz of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, who used horses to launder money from OneCoin about which the SDNY prosecutors were so concerned until, like with the UN, they weren't? Watch this site.


Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.


Feedback: Editorial [at]
SDNY Press Room 480, front cubicle
500 Pearl Street, NY NY 10007 USA

Mail: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2024 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for